With funding from NOAA, Indiana's Lake Michigan Coastal Management Program coordinated archaeological investigations of shipwrecks in the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan. A contract to perform the investigations was awarded to the Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group, Inc. (CCRG), with oversight by the State Archaeologist and Indiana State Museums and Historic Sites.
This project updated previous research about nautical resources and conduct archaeological survey for previously known and unidentified submerged cultural resources within the Lake Michigan territorial waters of the State of Indiana. Specifically, the research and survey provided updated documentation on both previously and newly identified shipwrecks, and assessed the potential National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligibility of these resources.
The research filled in gaps in our understanding of submerged cultural resources to inform the public of their significance and ways for the public to safely access these resources. An important goal of this project was to incorporate the archaeological survey results with a review of best practices to develop a management plan focused on conservation and preservation of these resources while allowing for public use. This management plan has been based on the survey and inventory of resources to provide a plan for protection of the resources and guidelines that includes multiple recreational uses for the resources identified, in keeping with the goals of the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal program (LMCP). The management plan provides information and interpretation of these resources for state authorities to use in their ongoing efforts to manage coastal resources. Stakeholder input has been a key factor to the success of this project.